COVID-19 : A locally built Ventilator by Leke Ojikutu

“…May the labours of our heroes past never be in vain.”

Culled from the Nigerian National Anthemn

Over 170 countries worldwide are currently faced with the challenge of combating the corona virus popularly called Covid-19. The pandemic has crippled health care systems with nations running short of medical  personnel and equipment.

The result is a global crisis unlike what has been seen in recent history. Increasing infection rate caused strain on available existing personnel and equipment like ventilators. Ventilators are important in the fight against COVID-19 as they help patients with difficulty breathing as a result of the infection.

Ventilators are expensive and there is now a global shortage of them globally. With these shortages countries have started to look inwards on how to manufacture ventilators locally. For example in the United States, President Trump had to invoke the Defense Production Act to get General Motors to make more ventilators and Boeing will make face shields for medical professionals.

Covid-19 in Nigeria

Statistics show a steady increase in the number of new cases who have tested positive. While the number of tested infections is low compared to our population, it is important to state that 17 out of 36 states and FCT have at least 1 infected patient.

This data shows that there could be more infections yet to be detected, due to the slow pace, turn around time for the test results to be ready and the low number of testing centers we have across the country.

What happens if COVID19 spreads in the coming days?

The Nigerian government through the Centre for Disease Control have so far been commendable though there still leaves room for much improvement. More test centers are being set up, state governments have spurn into action calling for statewide lockdowns and there’s been considerable public enlightenment.

At the medical front, more isolation and treatment centres are being built across the country and these centres will need ventilators. With cases still on the rise before the curve flattens (which we hope is soonest), there’s a need to get more ventilators.

Meet Leke Ojikutu’s Ventilator Inventor

To help solve the nation’s ventilator needs, a Nigerian, Leke Ojikutu has built a ventilator from materials sourced locally and is suitable for ICU and serious cases of covid19.

A ventilator built from materials sourced locally

It’s automated and has the following features:

  1. Computerized microprocessor controlled
  2. Deliver breaths to a patient who is physically unable to breathe, or breathing insufficiently.
  3. It’s Rechargeable. Powered by battery and electricity.
  4. Electronically controlled by a small embedded system to allow exact adaptation of flow characteristics to an individual patient’s needs. 
  5. Mass producible in hundreds within days
  6. Utilizes parts which can be sourced locally
  7. It can be modified to be powerful enough to make 1 ventilator serve 10 to 20 patients.

Efforts like this should be encouraged to grow Nigeria’s local content scene while helping us fight this pandemic.

About Leke Ojikutu

Leke Ojikutu is a serial entrepreneur and Tech Innovator.

He has founded many manufacturing and Tech Innovation companies in Nigeria and beyond. Some of them are VoguePay – an online payment processing company, Estoresms – a bulk SMS and utility bill payment solution, CMS Naija, a company that focuses on manufacturing household equipment and fittings. 

He has also worked with organizations like Bluebox Macromedia West Africa LTD, Lumeworks Entertainment LTD, IT Unit of Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (IRS), 360 Consult LTD, Gracesoft Nigeria, Afrisoft Interactive and few others. Click here to learn more about Leke Ojikutu.